Julie Griffin has a background in fine art, education, and graphic design. She brings a strong collaborative nature, sensitivity to a variety of fine arts materials, and design-thinking mindset to her work as a graphic designer and educator. She has experience working with learners of all ability levels and individually tailors her instruction to meet student goals and needs. She believes that creative thinking and artistic problem solving skills benefit students not just personally but professionally, regardless of their career path. A continual learner herself, Julie holds a BFA in Illustration from Washington University in St. Louis, a MS in Behavior Analysis from Simmons College, and a Certificate in Graphic Design from Massachusetts College of Art & Design. She has completed design and illustration work for a variety of arts and educational organizations including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Art Connection, Arrowstreet Architecture & Design, and Edenred. In her spare time, Julie loves to draw in gardens, collect samples of hand-drawn type, and practice her watercolor skills. Learn more about Julie and her work at juliegriffindesign.com
Konner Jebb (Poetry)
Konner Jebb graduated with his MFA in both Poetry and Pedagogy from the Solstice MFA Program of Pine Manor College. He is an LGBT advocate, poet, and teacher. He has spoken on literary panels, been a featured poet, and writing contest judge at Arisia and other local conventions. Find his work currently and forthcoming in Strange Horizons, Trans Cafe, Poetry2Go, and the Lily Poetry Review.
Mike Dorval (Standup Comedy)
Mike Dorval is a Boston-based comedian and self-described “left-leaning dad.” After a mere three months of performing, he won the New Hampshire Comedy Festival, defeating some of New England’s most established comics in the process. Armed with only his joke-writing abilities and quick wit, he quickly climbed the comedic ranks and became one of the youngest headliners in Boston history. He’s been praised by the Boston Globe as “One of Boston’s Best." He has been featured in Comedy Central’s Laugh Riots, starred in numerous television commercials, and toured overseas for the USO. His album We Need To Talk documents his distinctive worldview and performance chops. He has served as Comic In Residence at The Comedy Studio and is a favorite of the Boston Comedy Festival. He’s written and performed several one man shows and recently revived his interactive comedy show Trials of Love for Gloucester Stage, which previously had runs at the Charles Playhouse and Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater. He honestly hopes you’re having a good day.
Mariah Jillian (Calligraphy)
I'm Mariah, born and raised in Marlborough, MA and a graduate of Suffolk University. Creativity has always been a large part of my life. Think of any crafty hobby and I've probably tried it! Although I've loved beautiful handwriting and lettering since I was a little girl, my real journey with calligraphy started in 2015. Soon after, I started my business where I offer all calligraphy services, including- envelope addressing, day of event paper goods, signage, and basically anything else you can think of! When I'm not working on calligraphy projects, you'll most likely find me petting a cat and sipping on bubble tea! Learn more about Mariah and her work at mariahjillian.com.
Brandon Topp (Creative Writing)
Brandon Topp is a freelance writer who has worked in fiction, non-fiction, blogging, copywriting, and screenwriting. He has a BFA in Writing, Literature, & Publishing from Emerson College, and has contributed to various digital publications including Huffington Post, and Live Music Daily over the past five years. In the realm of passion projects, he's written and created a web-series named Swingtime, which was an official selection at the 2017 Austin Film Festival.
Amanda Smith (Mandarin Chinese)
Amanda Smith studied linguistics and education for university. She also learned Mandarin Chinese for five years and has her TESOL certification. Her passion for the Chinese language led her to China where she immersed herself in the culture and continued to study the language for three years before moving back to the states. She currently teaches English as a second language and Mandarin Chinese to English speakers.